Our travels today prove that everything north is indeed on a grander scale. Simply put, everything is bigger. The mountains are taller and endless, the expanses of water akin to sea, drifts of ice have become walls of white, the air is crisp and sweetly clean. It is indeed a mountain paradise. What the world must have been before we plundered it. We pass through into the region of Finnmark, Norway’s most northern, bordering Finland and Russia.
The raw beauty that surrounds us continues to breathtaking. Where we run into other travellers, everyone has cameras in hand, some with really serious equipment, trying their best to capture the memory of what they see. I think it’s deeper than this. I think we’re trying to capture what we feel. That’s much harder. We all want our pictures to transport the viewer, to take their breath away, the way ours was. Two dimensional stills though, are a poor substitute for the real thing.
Our cross country journey ended at Olderdalen and we resume our trek north along the E6, past the last of Lyngen fjord, into Kvaenangen fjord. These expanses of water run out to sea and are not only vast, but also dotted with islands, large and small, some inhabited, others left wild. This part of Norway’s coast is a patchwork of land and sea. A rare white beach appears, most island s touch the water with rock, some of which is a brilliant white forming a gleaming line against the water.
On the mountainside, the forests perform their Mexican wave of flora, immense forests wax and wane depending on our height, the waters deliver all shades of blue. It’s breathtaking landscape.
The highlight of the day comes late in the afternoon. Having been teased by moose signs, then reindeer, then both signs together, we hit the jackpot. Two gorgeously antlered reindeer grazing peaceful on the side of the road. They come upon us too quickly to get a photograph but our luck is in, we turn and pass back. They’re not at all fussed by us and munch away happily. They are only metres away and we can hear them ripping the grass away. Very impressive furry antlers. Their chocolate coats are marked with lines – I’m presuming where branches have got in their way. I’m so excited I can barely breathe. Wild reindeer. Thrilled.
All the excitement is too much, we stop by the fjord for the night, fjord and mountains in one side, a farm and mountains the other. The farmer is drying his hay on the old fashioned inverted V shaped racks.